96.1 FM | 780 AM | “Yours for Western Alaska”

Posts Tagged ‘transmitter’

January 2000: Blizzard!

January 16, 2000 A blizzard packing hurricane-force winds drops power lines at the KNOM transmitter site. The station’s emergency generator keeps it on the air for 16 hours before electricity is restored.

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December 1986: Under a coat of ice, the tower is near collapse

December 3, 1986 A storm this week deposits ice the thickness of cucumbers on the KNOM tower and its guy wires, which sag dangerously. The tower is in imminent danger of collapsing. Tower expert Rod Ewing immediately flies in from Wasilla, Alaska to supervise Timothy Cochran and Tom Busch as they strain to keep the…

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November 1970: A short-lived Christmas star

November 26, 1970 A 3-foot, lighted Christmas star tops the 49-foot studio tower. Like five successors over the years, it is blown apart by wind before the end of the holidays. (The star’s modern successor – pictured at right – has proven to be much more wind-resistant!)

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A new blog (this blog!), and a new look to our online newsletter

Frequent visitors to our website may have noticed a new blog appear earlier this year. Our Mission Blog – that is, the blog you’re reading right now! – is home to stories, photos, inspirational spots, and updates detailing our radio station’s latest activities, and now, it’s also home to our newsletter, The Nome Static. Starting…

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November 1970: Waiting for the weather for tower construction

November 22, 1970 After three weeks of blizzards and winds, the weather has briefly cleared. Volunteers John Pfeifer and Tom Busch are belted to the AM tower at the 95-foot level, and eight others on the ground hoist the microwave receive antenna, which the pair install.  Weather closes in again, and work can’t resume for…

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November 1997: Building the generator shed

November 14, 1997 Contractor Randy Pomeranz begins to fabricate the walls for the KNOM transmitter site’s generator shed. Time – and the remaining days of temperate weather – are running out, and the 66-kilowatt generator is waiting to be installed.

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Halloween, 1970: The AM tower is complete

October 31, 1970 The AM tower construction is complete. Nome Joint Utilities runs a power line across the tundra to the tower, and it is lighted. It’s finished just in time. Two days later, blizzards shut down Nome for almost three weeks.

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September 1997: A solution for drifting snow

September 25, 1997 Chief engineer Les Brown (pictured) has almost single-handedly built the extended fence around the AM tower, preparing for the mission’s higher-power, 25,000-Watt signal. Snow drifting has always been a problem there, and Les tries an innovative solution. For (fence) pickets, he uses 1/2-inch plastic pipes, which he figures will be aerodynamic and…

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The people who keep us on the air

Last week, we welcomed the last of this year’s five volunteers to Nome. Lucus Keppel is from Michigan and has committed one year to the KNOM Radio Mission. He joins Margaret, Eva, Dayneé, and Josh. They look forward to a wonderful year of service to listeners in remote bush communities. As always, we thank everyone who helps us overcome…

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August 2009: Transmitter trouble

August 23, 2009 The transmitter fails this morning, just as the automated remote control commands the increase to daytime power. From Anchorage, Tom Busch talks general manager Ric Schmidt into coaxing it to operate at very low power, about 2,000 watts. After flying to Nome, Tom discovers that a jumper cable 100 feet above ground…

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